Nutrition Experts At NUMS Seminar Call For National Nutrition Policy To Raise Awareness Among Masses About Significance Of Nutrition


Nutrition experts at NUMS seminar call for National Nutrition Policy to raise awareness among masses about significance of  nutrition

RAWALPINDI, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 19th Mar, 2023 ) :Nutrition and dietetics experts Sunday emphasized the need for formulation of National Nutrition Policy (NNP) to raise awareness among masses regarding the significance of nutrition and its impact on health of present and future generations.

They were speaking at a seminar, organized by National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) Department of Nutrition & Dietetics (DND) at its PWD Campus to celebrate "March Nutrition Month" being celebrated across the world with the theme "Fuel for the Future." Dr. Abdul Momin Rizwan, Head of Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at NUMS in his remarks said it was imperative to have National Nutrition Policy (NNP) for a country like Pakistan as it was facing triple burden of malnutrition including over nutrition, under nutrition and hidden hunger (micro nutrient deficiencies) which were extremely common in the country. These issues can be addressed through NNP which will be executed at national and provincial level with clear guidelines and goals. He said some good work in bits and pieces, was being done at public and private sector but that was not yielding desired results to root- out malnutrition.

Shahid Fazal, a nutrition expert and Regional Advisor at Nutritional International, an international Non-Governmental Organization said that a consensus on NNP among the provinces was necessary for formulation of such policy to ensure uniformity in its implementation at the provincial level as well to achieve the set goals to tap actual potential of Pakistani children.

Referring to a report launched by the Pakistan Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Secretariat at the Ministry of Planning Development & Reform, in collaboration with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Shahid Fazal said the consequences of malnutrition was costing Pakistan US$ 7.

6 billion per year.

Dr. Umar Farooq of NUMS said if the available data was analyzed, 50 per cent of Pakistan population would be found to have some sort of nutrient deficiencies. He said unstoppable urbanization and reduction in the production areas in the country would increase food security and non-communicable diseases. The problem of malnutrition with its many facets needs to be tackled at the national level.

Ch. Faiz Rasool, a senior Policy Advisor at Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition(GAIN) said that under chairmanship of planning commission, some policy work had started and GAIN was also helping them to chalk out NNP which was expected to be finalized this year. Once formulated, NNP would be put up to the Council of Common Interest for approval which would give it acceptance and recognition at the national level, said Faiz Rasool. He called for inclusion of the youth as well as implications of climate change in Food Security Policy for ensuring its success. He said there was some work going on to include nutrition subject at the grassroots level as some educational institutions had offered nutrition related subjects.

Pro Vice Chancellor (Acad) Maj Gen Saleem Ahmed Khan, HI (M)(Retd) in his concluding remarks said nutrition was a futuristic field. He lauded the Faculty and students for organizing such a wonderful event. He gave away shields to the panelists and thanked them to spare time to speak on such an important subject. Later Pro VC (Acad.) also joined senior faculty members, panelists and students in Nutrition Awareness walk at the Campus.